Harvesting Fall Films

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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Harvest the movie0With fall upon us, we are entering into a season where nights are getting longer and colder, so we spend more reading and film viewing.

Harvest, a 2010 movie release, is about relationships, and coming to terms with the past, the immediate and the future as changes in family dynamics affect everyone involved. Issues of both aging and coming of age will be relatable to many viewers. The challenges, with both, put focus on the meaning of  family  making the story “undeniably heartfelt,” according to Newsday. The lovely seaside setting adds to the overall beauty of the movie.

Harvest has gathered many awards in it’s basket from some very prestigious film festivals. To read the full summary of the movie , go to http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1302001/.  The film can be ordered from the Internet Movie Database also.

Harvest_keyArtWant an educational alternative with an adult subject?  Check out this award-winning, independent documentary about harvesting grapes and winemaking in the Sonoma Valley. Harvest: The Blood, Sweat and Tears that Go into Every Bottle might better satisfy your tastes in movies. http://www.harvestmovie.com/

This weekend may be a good time to visit a local orchard to harvest the fruit of the season. Come home and heat up some mulled cider, bake a fresh apple pie, then relax and enjoy one of these movies with your family or your friends – because they are family also!

No matter how you decide to spend your weekend, make it fulfilling!  And do return on Monday. This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Gift of an Angel

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a life lived There is a blog that I encountered over the weekend that I feel deserves very special attention. I hope you will take the time to visit it because it is filled with beautiful images and a beautiful story. It is written by a mom, who was given a gift from God, and out of her realization of what that gift has meant to her, she has created an inspiring and peaceful space on the world-wide-web. It is a place where people can perhaps come to terms with the challenges that they face in their lives and maybe put things in perspective about finding personal fulfillment.

Laughing with Angels is about finding loveliness in the home and family. Artful living.  ‘Nuff said. I hope you will take the time to visit the site, and please read what inspired the name of the blog, Laughing with Angels. http://bit.ly/13Fc0JI.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Have a great day, everybody. Please return tomorrow for more of All Things Fulfilling!

Skillfully Delivered

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Blessed are the ears of those who hear the pulse of the divine whisperer…”
~Thomas Kempis

I’ve had a fabulous summer so far. It’s been filled with business, checking out local art scenes in different places, meeting artists, including writers I have never met before, and best of all, the opportunity to spend cherished time with family.  Yet, one Sunday morning in my travels, I awoke and finally identified something that had been quietly nagging at me. I realized I missed a message of inspiration that I find each week at the United Methodist Church of Steamboat. “Time,” I thought, “to do something about it.”

I visited the diminutive United Methodist Church on remote Taylors Island, Maryland http://bit.ly/1bIYSIl and came out feeling uplifted, almost giddy . The sermon was as fine as I’ve heard anywhere, and it was the kind of inspiration yours truly needed at that moment. The Reverend’s well-delivered words included a message about God’s relationship to people in the business of trying to live up to their full potential. It was the fifth sermon in the series on “Living the Successful Life,” called Faith is a Dynamo. The Rev. Dr. Robert Kirkley spoke about how “God is in the business of success and blessings,” but we must do our part also. He reassured the people that if we ascribe to the principles of Jack Welsh and add God to our lives, we will find success. As someone who has read books on Welsh’s leadership, I tuned in immediately. The message was skillfully and clearly delivered and at the end of his sermon, I felt spiritually renewed. I will be sharing more fulfilling things that came about in my visit to a church outside of my own community in future blog writings.

We often discover new things when we step outside the box, and change-up our routine. Over the coming  month or so, there will be big changes coming to All Things Fulfilling. I am very excited and will be working hard to give this site an updated look while keeping the disruption to a minimum.

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Skipping Around with Images

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Each one sees what one carries in the heart” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The assimilation process of language is interesting. It reminds me how important it is that parents watch their words to their children. One never knows what will come back to us from our offspring.  Words of beauty, compassion and understanding, are better echoed by our children than words of hatred and intolerance. To learn more about language assimilation of children, please read this article http://bit.ly/133mukU.

I come by my interest in flowers and gardening, naturally, through my parents. I never realized how much knowledge  I had assimilated about flowers in my formative years until I married a man whose father was a landscaper. Garden talk automatically became common lingo in our household when our lives converged. I am both surprised and delighted when our son whips out names of familiar flowers that have grown in our gardens. He has naturally ingested the names of many species.

I know what you are thinking. “Sue sure has gone out on a tangent this morning – Odd! Where is this subject matter coming from?”I am using stream of consciousness writing, today. http://bit.ly/117U99S.  A beautiful flower that I photographed at my parents house  started me down this path of thought.

This flower, digitalis (better known as foxglove) has always been present in my garden. But the blossom pictured, is the most beautiful of its kind I have ever seen. It could serve as a specimen plant because it is particularly noteworthy and deserves “center stage.” The stem is as wide as three stems fused together, and unusually flat shaped – a real treasure. Without the abnormally shaped stem, the heavy and enormous flower would topple over! When I saw it, it made my heart skip a beat.

Those are my fulfilling independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com today. Come back tomorrow, perhaps my writing will be more cohesive.

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Photo 1: Check out the triple width stem of the unusually formed digitalis.

Photo in Middle:  Three ordinary foxglove (digitalis) and one hefty, atypical plant

Photo 3: Close up of atypical specimen of digitalis.

To read more about this species of flower, digitalis, please go to .http://bit.ly/11aZikG.

Fulfillment for the Royals

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Of all the roles I’ve played, none has been as fulfilling as being a mother.” ~

Annette Funicello

It’s a high time for the Royal Family. Will Catherine, the Dutchess of Cambridge give birth to a Royal Princess or Prince?  I’ll bet the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, can hardly wait to see whether his offspring, male or female, will be next in line to the throne to fulfill his duties, if he ever reaches the post. That still remains to be seen.

As a mom, I am not sure I’d wish a royal role on a son or a daughter. It would be a blessing and a burden. But then, ordinary folk have both blessings and burdens in their lives, too! A big perk would be living in a castle with every whim or whimsy tended to. Bounty and agony can come with that  -imagine the upkeep. I think I’ll stick to an ordinary life, and surround myself with beautiful things when I want to. Sounds like a balanced solution.

I am on Royal baby countdown, like every fan of the British monarchy. You can be sure the Brits and the Americans are gearing up for selling commemorative plates, mugs, banners and all kinds of products to demarcate the big event of the  baby’s arrival into the royal family!

Bells will toll and news of the royal birth will ring out loud and clear on media sites, in print and on-line everywhere.   Castles and Coffeehouses wants you to “Be the first on your block” to own a souvenir of the special birth day of the newest royal family member. Read it for yourself.  http://bit.ly/16ADMET.

Happy Royal Baby Watching everyone!

keep calm and be yourself

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Film Friday: Comeback of an Era

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Any good comeback needs true believers.”  ~ Unknown

drive-in-movie-theaterDo you remember going to the drive-in movies? I love looking back at those nostalgic times of going to the movies with my parents in my pajamas, car packed with snacks, and watching the big screen outdoors, with excitement, till I finally fell asleep in the back seat of the station wagon.

Most drive-in theatres have been demolished. There are only 355 left nationwide according to Las Vegas-based Drive-ins.com, which tracks the industry. In the State of Michigan there has been a resurgence of drive-in theatres. Think about it – with jumbotron screens, like those you see in sports arenas, at concerts, and in Times Square, reviving outdoor movie viewing may make sense in more ways in one!

Reliving a bygone era makes for a fun bonding experience with family and friends. Using land that has been sitting vacant, for drive-in theatres, must be cheaper than building behemoth buildings to house cinemas. Downside is the short season for outdoor movie viewing in some climates.

Zhivago2Imagine watching Dr. Zhivago with snow falling all around you (the real thing) as you watch the ZhivagoDVDmovie!

Interested in rewatching an old classic, Dr. Zhivago? Click for info & ordering

That would be a unique experience. Perhaps there is an untapped niche of people, like the “polar bear club” who would find going to drive-in movies year round fulfilling. Social networking groups, enthusiasts who appreciate the art of the drive-in movie experience, in all conditions, might be the next big thing to spring up. You never know in this creative and interesting economy, perhaps we shouldn’t put drive-in movies in the museum of dying giants yet! http://bit.ly/12GKFTK .

When was the last time you went to a drive-in movie? In Michigan there are people who might answer that question, “very recently.” To read about the comeback of drive-in theatres in Michigan, visit this link. http://on.lsj.com/13QDldB.

Come back on Monday to All Things Fulfilling, the space for independent thoughts, words and views from CFS (www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com). For information on author Sue Batton Leonard, Click for info on her memoir

Family, Faith and Travel

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Each day I am thankful for; nights turned into morning, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” ~ Ritu Ghatourey

I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of fulfilling things since arriving on the East Coast. It all began with attending a social event of a book club group with women who reside in and around the historic area surrounding TaylorsIsland in Dorchester County, Maryland. The Grace Foundation is restoring churches and doing work on the island to preserve the history of the churches and schoolhouses. http://bit.ly/16Ezcex.

The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake, a book I recently read and adored, is on the reading booklist for the book club for this coming summer. Based on a small town sea-side community during World War 2, the post office was a hub of activity, and the spinster postmistress knows secrets which if told, will change the lives of some of the residents. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Then I traveled to the Boston area to attend the beautiful wedding of our niece on my husband’s side of the family. It was so wonderful to see the bride and her sister (our second Leonard niece), who are now both married adults.

We also spent a lovely evening in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and had dinner at Loretta’s. The harbor area in Newburyport has changed greatly since last time I visited many  years ago. Full of wonderful restaurants with varied cuisine, we also went art gallery hopping. As a Mother’s Day present, my husband bought me a New England artisan-crafted necklace from Annie’s of Newburyport. Then we finished the evening with dessert at a fantastic coffee shop complete with musical entertainment featuring a sole independent musician playing the guitar.

Join me tomorrow on my journey back to Vermont, my state of residence for more than thirty years. I was greeted by “Miss America” of the independent publishing industry! She’s quite a package! Well-built, for future developments.

Here are just a few pictures from my fulfilling travels:

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My favorite home away from home, my favorite writing place in the lighthouse

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Hope for a bountiful catch

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Rode my bike to the vineyards on the Island

too early in the season for fruit on the vine

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John the Baptist Church, Peabody, MA for niece’s wedding

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Beautiful bride (above)

and her maid of honor – her sister

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Stained Glass Window

loretta

Dinner in Newburyport, MA at Loretta

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Couldn’t resist this photo http://www.imarc.net/  for our son, Marc R Leonard.

He seems to be showing up everywhere!

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My Mother’s Day Present – New England Artisan Crafted

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Left my heart in Taylor’s Island, Maryland

will be back to get it before my trip to the East Coast is over!

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Writing Ambitions

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Walk_Two_Moons“I want to write a book like Walk Two Moons,” my twin sister declared the other day. “Did you ever read it?”

“No, I haven’t,” I said, “Go ahead, what’s stopping you?” Frankly, she took me by surprise. It was the first I’d ever heard of her having any ambitions to write. For many years decorative painting was her “thing.” I would have expected a return to that craft, after abandoning it when her life got too busy with raising children and a career in project accounting for a prominent architectural firm that designs healthcare facilities. http://www.wilmot.com/.

“It’s the best book,” she said. “We read and discussed it in our mother-daughter book club many years ago when the girls were little.”

“So, what’s stopping you from writing?” I asked again.

“I don’t know where to start.” My sister replied.

“No one ever does. Just begin, and see what happens, and where the story goes.”

“I never thought of that.” She said. “I thought I needed to have a beginning and an end, in the first place.”

“Nope, how can you determine it, if you haven’t met the characters yet?” I said.

“What is it that was so good about the story?” I asked, turning the conversation back to her comment about Walk Two Moons.

“It taught the best lessons!” She replied.

“Then keep that in mind, as you write.” I said.

“Well, I didn’t say I was going to write! You’re assuming that I will.”

“Why not? I asked again. “Just start and see how it turns out. You might find the experience of creating a story, in and of itself, fulfilling.” I said, thinking of the joy I have gotten over the past year or so in writing my soon-to-be published narrative.

“I might,” she said. “I just might.”

After our talk about writing, I came across this adage. Is it not true that values determine how all stories, our own and others, end up?

character in story

See you next time on  All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views  are all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Visions and Memories of Easter

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Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things, but in terms of ideals.~ Charles M Crowe

It’s Friday,  the beginning of Easter weekend. Today on All Things Fulfilling rather than communicate through text, I have posted a visual extravaganza of all things Easter, as seen through the eyes of a child. I have tried to capture images of my favorite things that represent the coming of spring, and my childhood memories. Dressing in our Easter finest, and going to church, was part of what made the day so special. Sadly, for many families this is a tradition that has gone by the wayside. http://bit.ly/YHBXpF.

Listen in to one chapter of my memoir about Easter Traditions. You will get a feel for my publication, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, and for the voice in it.

 

easter forsythia

Easter chicks in cupeaster-egg

Easter Maryland Presbyterian Church

Easter dress from 1950sEaster glovesEaster bonnet

Easterpeeps

easter sugar eggs

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Easter pictureeaster lily

Easter Chickseaster-bunny

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Have a wonderful weekend, and return on Monday to All Things Fulfilling. Click on this link for info and ordering my memoir.  Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Family Dynamics in Stories

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Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.” ~ Susan Scarf Merrill 

Brother-for-saleOh, brother! How I can relate- there were many times when I was growing up that I felt just like the little girl in this image. 

Did you ever consider that sibling relationships are the longest bonds we will have in our lives with other people? There is a lot of research about how birth order affects our family ties. 

 There is an interesting interview on NPR about the sibling effect. Tune in and listen. http://n.pr/WZnKPG

My siblings have been on my mind a lot recently since I have been writing a book which involves many universal issues, including human relationships. The manuscript has been in the hands of select advance readers, including a child psychologist  and the feedback has been invaluable.  I am most grateful for it and I’m wrapping up final revisions before the book is published. My very realistic goal is to have it complete this year.

My family has not read my manuscript. I didn’t want the dynamics of the book to be changed by the  opinions of family members. I’ve dropped only a few clues about the storyline, and they are chomping at the bit to read it. By now, they might  be questioning whether there is really a book in the making or whether I am  just  taunting them and  making teasing promises like when we were children.

Only kidding! I can hardly wait for my family to read it. They don’t know to what what extent they play roles in the storyline.

Visit us tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.